Children learn that lying is wrong, often in kindergarten. Apparently, somewhere on the road to becoming corporate leaders, they un-learn that lesson, especially if they are running multinational oil companies. Today on Sea Change Radio we talk with The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg who has been leading the charge in explaining the significance of an email which shows Exxon has been aware of the link between its operations and climate change for quite some time. As one of the leading environmental journalists today Goldenberg puts the email and the subsequent climate denial campaign in context. We talk about the history of climate change awareness, the responsibilities of large fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil, and the devastating environmental consequences of a corporation that plays fast and loose with the truth.
Sea Change Radio’s Alex Wise and CEO of Sustainability Risk Advisors, Mark Tulay, examine if there is a silver lining to what many are calling the greatest environmental disaster in history unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the show transcript
The ExxonMobil annual shareholder meeting this year carried high expectations from shareholder activists. Members of the Rockefeller family, descending from the founder of the Standard Oil monopoly that splintered into Exxon and Mobil, attended the meeting to support four different shareholder resolutions on corporate governance and climate change. Of these four, the resolution supported by most Rockefellers asked the company to split the CEO and Board Chair positions. Today’s CWR guest, Bob Monks, has filed this resolution at ExxonMobil since the early 2000s. His struggle to hold ExxonMobil accountable exemplifies the broader struggle to hold corporations accountable described in his new book, Corpocracy. Monks is co-founder of Institutional Shareholder Services, The Corporate Library, Lens Governance Advisors, and a former Labor Department official in the Reagan Administration.
Web extra: Bob Monks chats with CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon about the US presidential candidates’ ability to take on corpocracy. Listen
CWR ViewPoint: read (Thanks to our partner CSRwire for posting text of CWR commentaries.)
Longtime shareholder activist Steve Viederman presented this statement at the ExxonMobil Annual Meeting in May 2008 to introduce resolution 19 asking Exxon to adopt a renewable energy policy. He filed the resolution along with other individuals, families, foundations and religious orders, joined by 20 institutional investors worth over $740 billion in combined assets, including Exxon Mobil stock valued at more than $8.6 billion.
Human rights and trade–the relationship dates back millennia. Despite this long history, however, we still have very little understanding of how to use trade to promote human rights. This according to today’s guest, Susan Ariel Aaronson, author of Trade Imbalance: The Struggle to Weigh Human Rights in Trade Policymaking, out from Cambridge University Press in late 2007. Aaronson, a professor of international affairs at George Washington University, illustrates her research findings using current examples such as how trade sanctions against Burma have complicated relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Nargis or how the earthquake in China may prove more effective in improving human rights there than boycotting the Beijing Olympics. Aaronson also discusses opportunities–and limitations–on using the World Trade Organization, or WTO, to promote human rights through trade.
—Rockefeller family members join fight to move ExxonMobil beyond petroleum
—Burger King Lets Tomato Pickers “Have it Their Way”
—US senate panel votes to give California the go-ahead to regulate greenhouse gas emissions
CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon speaks with Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board Chair Jerry Hill about its recent precedent-setting implementation of a fee on carbon emissions by companies in 9 counties in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. This development represents the first time that business carbon emissions have been officially regulated in the US, leapfrogging over federal and state regulations.
We visit with Andy Bichelbaum of the Yes Men. This two person team of corporate impersonators have passed for executives of Exxon, Halliburton, Dow Chemical and the WTO. We’ll learn how they do what they do, and why. Interviewers Sanford Lewis and Francesca Rheannon.